Last Sunday, I did the Badgerland Strider's Turkey Trot Prediction Run. Unlike most races, where awards are determined by who runs the fastest, this one awards the people who most accurately predict their finishing time. There was both a two mile and 15k option and no timing devices were allowed.
I opted for the two mile race. Back when I registered, I felt pretty optimistic and predicted a finishing time of 14:07. I thought it would be no problem given it's only a two miler and my 5k pace is not far off that.
However, when race week arrived I had a hard time thinking of it as an actual race. After taking time off, my fitness level isn't quite where it needs to be and my heart just wasn't in it. I decided to treat this one as a fun run instead.
Normally, I stay in the night before a race so I can eat properly and rest up. But since I wasn't taking the Turkey Trot very seriously, when my friend Leigh offered me tickets to the Milwaukee Public Museum's Buccaneer Bash, I decided to take her up on the offer!
Partying with pirates!
Spending lots of time on my feet, indulging in party treats and conversing with men dressed as pirates is not my usual way to prepare for a race, but it sure was fun. The Real Pirates exhibit is pretty awesome and I definitely recommend checking it out.
Anyhow, I digress. I got to the race about 30 minutes before the start. I planned on doing a warm-up mile, but the line for the porta potty was so long that I barely made it to the start line in time.
Within the first few minutes, I could tell I wasn't going to be able to get my legs moving fast enough to get anywhere near my predicted time. I was having trouble focusing on building speed and maintaining pace so I just told myself to run and see what happens.
I finished somewhere in the 15:XX range. I can't remember my actual time and it's not posted online. At any rate, it was a slow time for me and as expected, pretty far off my predicted time! After the race, I could tell I hadn't run as fast as I could have because I recovered within about 5 seconds and then started running back on the course to find my mom so I could run her in.
This ended up being Mom's race - she finished within 10 seconds of her predicted time and won a turkey!
Way to go, Mom!
So even though my race was a bit of a bomb, it was still a great weekend. Definitely made me think about how I want to prepare for my other three November races - the next of which is on Sunday. This week, I'm focusing on good nutrition, getting enough sleep and mentally preparing myself for running fast. It's the first race of the Winter Run Series and I want to earn enough points to set myself up as an Age Group contender for a series award.
This leads me to ask: How do you prepare the week leading up to a race? Do you do anything special the night before? Anyone else participating in a Turkey Trot this year?
I'll be at the Drumstick Dash if you want to race :)